Pricing Login
Interactive demos

Click through interactive platform demos now.

Live demo, real expert

Schedule a platform demo with a Sumo Logic expert.

Start free trial

DevOps and Security Glossary Terms

Glossary Terms

XDR - definition & overview

In this article
What is XDR?
Why XDR is needed
How does XDR work?
Benefits of XDR
XDR vs. EDR vs. MDR
XDR and Sumo Logic
What is XDR?
Why XDR is needed
How does XDR work?
Benefits of XDR
XDR vs. EDR vs. MDR
XDR and Sumo Logic

What is XDR?

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is a cyber security tool promoted by endpoint detection and response (EDR) vendors to aggregate and analyze disparate data and security sources, with the goal to improve threat detection and remediation operations. XDR works to improve threat detection and mitigate cyberattacks by automatically finding, analyzing, and responding to threat data.

Key takeaways

  • XDR tools are an evolution of endpoint protection capabilities.
  • XDR tools are intended to function as an integrated suite to provide cybersecurity coverage via three key areas: the integration and ingestion of data, the detection of cyber threats, and the response to detected incidents.
  • XDR tools are perfect for organizations needing the latest all-in-one EDR tool, but might not be optimal for enterprise orgs and SecOps teams requiring complete threat correlation with a true SaaS SIEM platform.
  • XDR tools lack the comprehensive threat visibility, threat correlation and threat hunting capabilities that Sumo Logic’s Cloud SIEM provides.

Why XDR is needed

Every year, advancements in technology force businesses all over the world to establish and improve security measures to protect their sensitive data. The same technological developments also enable threat actors to make their attacks more sophisticated. Security teams have deployed tools, created processes, and hired individuals to address these advanced threats, but they are still outnumbered. As the number of vulnerability gaps increases, so does the need for proactive, comprehensive security protection of their endpoints (e.g., laptops, tablets, phones, printers, etc.), workloads (e.g., servers, VMs, cloud workloads), and control points (e.g., network, web, etc.) into a single system. As the acronym suggests, XDR is intended to interoperate and coordinate threat prevention, detection, and response across many domains to bolster security.

How does XDR work?

XDR is characterized by three key features: the integration and ingestion of data points, the detection of cyber threats, and the response to incidents.

Ingesting alerts

When it comes to threat detection and response (TDR), XDR collects alert data from security systems and provides visibility across endpoints, servers, workloads, and network tools. A good XDR system will be versatile enough to consolidate and collect alerts from multiple tools inside an organization's IT environment so that it can be centralized.


XDR examines gathered alerts to detect attacks to identify potentially malicious activities using custom and predefined detection methods including traffic and alert monitoring. XDR aims to detect security threats across multiple domains from a single console using various detection techniques.


After detecting suspicious events, XDR presents threat data in the form of relevant alerts, activity logs, timelines, and priority events. This allows security users to triage, and begin remediating threats. It also provides orchestration functionalities to serve as a point of direct response for threat remediation.

Benefits of XDR

XDR incorporates cyber security features like threat detection, as well as response. XDR combines data from all connected endpoints to produce a view of an enterprise's cyber security technology ecosystem, focusing on endpoint security. It automates threat analysis, enabling security teams to quickly examine and remedy any security vulnerabilities detected.

Greater visibility and security coverage

XDR improves end-to-end visibility across a security stack by integrating into additional security data sources. This allows security teams to immediately determine where potential threats are coming from, as well as which devices are affected so that they can respond promptly.


XDR assists organizations in reducing manual processes within their security workflows, resulting in quicker detection and reaction times. This safeguards the organization from data loss and significant cyberattacks that might have taken years to identify.

Improved operating efficiency

XDR centralizes endpoint data collection for threat investigation and response processes in real-time. As a result, security activities become more efficient.

Robust threat prevention

XDR solutions use threat intelligence to assist in the detection and prevention of a wide range of complex attacks, including ransomware. XDR tools can also help in reducing attack surfaces by continuously executing ad hoc and scheduled endpoint scans while aiding in responses to major attacks.

XDR vs. EDR vs. MDR


Endpoint detection and response (EDR) is a type of security technology that monitors, detects, and responds to attacks on endpoint devices. EDR was first used in forensic investigations in 2013 to help spot suspicious activity and provide extensive endpoint visibility. EDR is largely known for its ability to detect and respond to threats quickly, including more sophisticated threats like file-less malware. XDR is essentially a next-gen version of EDR which provides broader coverage of an organization’s security environment.


Managed detection and response (MDR) is a managed security service often delivered by managed security service providers (MSSPs). This offers an outsourced alternative for internal security teams by providing round-the-clock monitoring, intelligence-based detection, and remediation services. Using designated security experts, it offers managed security services and might include extra security tools like XDR and SIEM. MDR can enhance an org’s security by offering SOC-as-a-Service, whereas XDR is more focused on aiding understaffed security teams by helping automate threat detection and response activities.

XDR and Sumo Logic

XDR tools excel in identifying malicious activities and threats on endpoints, devices, and workloads thanks to the fact they have an agent deployed on each and every asset. However, XDR tools lack the log and telemetry collection and management capabilities necessary to gain a complete picture of the threat landscape facing organizations. What this means is that XDR tools lack the comprehensive threat visibility, threat correlation and threat hunting capabilities that Sumo Logic’s Cloud SIEM provides, as well as the powerful automated incident response capabilities of our Cloud SOAR solution.

Sumo Logic’s Cloud SIEM correlates all incoming data from any public cloud, multi-cloud, on-premises environment, along with any XDR tool data, and uses our unique Insight Engine to surface the cyber threats that matter most to your security operations team. Without Sumo Logic, the efficacy of XDR’s threat visibility and detection suffers.

Learn more – Explore Sumo Logic’s security integrations.

Complete visibility for DevSecOps

Reduce downtime and move from reactive to proactive monitoring.